#SUNYCIT: Yikes… No More Ignoring Google!

#SUNYCIT- Yikes... No More Ignoring Google!

n the Once again, Kathleen Gradel from SUNY Fredonia gave a wonderful presentation. This time her presentation focused on Google Apps. If you are not using GSuite applications, you really should.

When Gradel presents, you walk away with countless more lessons about instructing than what the topic predicts. This presentation was no different.

The first thing Gradel does is share her presentation with the audience so they can follow along. She also hands out a card with the link to the presentation as well as a QR code to the presentation. I have noticed that all of her documents have an easy link to a digital version of the document. The links are shortened with bit.ly. In the words of Cooks & Cons, “this is a pro move!”

Google in the Classroom

Gradel began her presentation with a complete the quote exercise. While this was a face-to-face exercise for our group, it could have easily been completed on a Google Doc. Regardless, it was a nice way to get the participants engaged in the presentation.

We then entered into a conversation about what our LMSs offer and what is missing from them. My key takeaways were the items missing such as:

  • lack of true collaboration
  • it is tool not used outside of academia
  • lack of student access to learning elements once the class ends
  • lack of app-smashing capability
  • students do not get to co-own the content

Collaboration and co-owning are the points of emphasis.

Braintrust Exercise

Throughout the presentation, Gradel made a document available to share Google tips. For some participants, this was the first time that they used such a document. Some felt it distracted from the overall presentation… two points of focus. For others, it worked seamlessly.

Ideas for Using GSuite tools

Muddiest Points: On a Google Doc, students would share questions or areas where they were not clear. Other students would share solutions to the questions or sticking points. The instructor could also provide solutions. In Gradel’s example, students would also share links to other resources to help with clarification. More on Muddiest Point. I like this classroom assessment technique, here is more on using the Muddiest Point.

Quiz Builder Content: You can have students assist in building quiz questions. In Gradel’s example, she has students complete four columns on a shared document: name, objective question, answer, and answer source. This can help to build massive question banks over time as well as provide questions for assessments.

Google Tips

One really important tip is to have students automatically copy a worksheet or document when they first access it. Here are resources Gradel shared to do this:

Creating Teams

Gradel also shared a wonderful idea for creating teams and assigning roles. It uses a deck of cards. It is a strategy I used for building teams, but hers has a twist.

Build a deck of cards for the number of students in your class, divided evenly by suits. For example, if you have 24 students, build a deck of 6 spades, 6 clubs, 6 hearts, and 6 diamonds. You will have the makings for 6 teams of four (a team with one of each suit), 4 teams of six (every one of the same suit), 2 teams of twelve if you separate by color, etc. I use it to play a game called Hello, a great way to rapidly gather information.

If you build teams with teams having a member of each suit, you could then assign a role for each suit, e.g., spades are team leaders, clubs are team recorders, etc.

Add-ons and Extensions

In the presentation, a number of add-ons and extensions were shared. Here are some of them:

Additional Resources

Here are some resources I would like to share:

This was another great presentation. As usual, she had more content than time. I still need to sift through her presentation for more ideas.

Naturally, if you have questions about our GSuite tools, please ask a member of the TEI team or stop down to visit us in the TEI Synergy Center.

How do you use Google Apps in your classroom? Share in the comments below.

Other Gradel Presentations

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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